Tag Archives: Michael Caine

Movie Review – Journey 2: The Mysterious Island (2012)

Film: Journey 2: The Mysterious Island
Released: 2012
Director: Brad Peyton
Stars: Josh Hutcherson, Dwayne Johnson, Michael Caine

Synopsis:
Sequel to Journey to the Centre of the Earth (2008).

17-year-old Sean Anderson receives a coded distress signal from a mysterious island where no island should exist. Unable to stop tracking the signal, he sets out with a small group on a journey to the mysterious island – a place few people have ever seen or lived to tell about. What they find is an island of stunning beauty, strange and threatening life forms, volcanoes, mountains of gold and more than one astonishing secret.

What I thought of it:
I saw the first movie some time ago and rather enjoyed it (so sue me, I adore Brendan Fraser!), and this sequel, although missing Mr Fraser, does feature Josh Hutcherson (the kid in the first film) and has bonus kudos in the form of class act, Michael Caine. Oh, and The Rock is in it too. Sorry, Dwayne Johnson, as he now prefers to be known.

Actually, I’m not even being sarcastic about Mr Johnson’s presence because he’s actually a fun addition to the cast, adding a well-balanced blend of good comedy timing and common-sense-Father-Figure-who-might-just-save-the-day. He also has a surprisingly pleasant singing voice.

No, your eyes did not deceive you – you read that correctly. The Rock sings in this movie, but don’t worry, its brief and, as I already mentioned, not unpleasant.

Now to the plot. It’s adventure by numbers really, but the threads holding it all together are from the classic novel The Mysterious Island by Jules Verne, and there’s some cleverness in how they come to find the island that is very inventive. There are elements of other Verne novels present too, so there’s always the chance that some of the kids who see this film might just decide to pick up the books and try them too, which is always a good thing.

It’s a nicely entertaining way to spend an hour and a half on a rainy afternoon with the kids and there’s something in it for everyone – for the kids, there’s the sheer adventure, spectacle and excitement of it all; for Dads there’s Michael Caine (after all, a film can’t be too bad if it has Sir Michael in it!); and for the Mums who like that sort of thing, there’s The Rock popping his pecs. Admittedly, I’m not one of the Mums who lusts after Mr Johnson and his seemingly independently mobile muscles, but I still had a giggle at the scene that was obviously put in for the 3D viewers (we saw it in 2D).

There are much worse ways to kill some time and you might find you actually enjoy it more than you expected. I certainly did. And if it leads to you reading those classic adventure tales to your kids, or to them picking them up for themselves, then you’ve got many more happy hours filled in the future to boot!

Rating:

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Film Reviews – Harry Brown (2009) and Moon (2009)

Film: Harry Brown
Released: 2009
Starring:
Michael Caine
Directed by:
Daniel Barber
Rating: Like a Star @ heavenLike a Star @ heavenLike a Star @ heavenLike a Star @ heaven Excellent

Synopsis:
Michael Caine returns to the vengeance-fuelled chills of GET CARTER for this contemporary thriller in which he seeks to avenge the death of an elderly friend. Marking his feature film directorial debut, Daniel Barber presents a London that’s a million miles away from the picturesque beauty of holiday brochures but instead a hellish city where menace lurks in the shadows of its streets. When his friend is brutally murdered by a group of disaffected youths, ex-serviceman Harry Brown (Caine) takes the law into his hands, vowing to hunt each of the culprits down…

Review:
If there was ever any doubt, this movie proves that Michael Caine has still got what it takes to completely fill a lead role and make it his own. As the titular character, Caine is entirely believable and his performance is so natural you could believe he really is a vigilante pensioner. I smell the whiff of an Oscar nomination – if there’s any justice in the world, he’ll get at least a nod for Best Actor.

Film: Moon
Released: 2009
Starring: Sam Rockewell; Kevin Spacey (voice only)
Directed by: Duncan Jones
Rating: Like a Star @ heavenLike a Star @ heavenLike a Star @ heavenLike a Star @ heaven Excellent

Synopsis:
After spending three years on the moon as a solitary miner, Sam Bell (Rockwell) is almost ready to return home to his wife and daughter. But as his homecoming approaches, he begins to experience strange things that can’t be explained and his employer may have a sinister plan in mind for him. MOON is the directorial debut of commercial helmer Duncan Jones.

Review:
It’s rare that any actor gets the chance to be pretty much the only person in a film, but even more rare to see that role filled so eloquently. Moon is a fabulous showcase for Sam Rockwell’s immense talent. Despite being science fiction, his performance is such that the situation is incredibly believable. While watching, I became completely invested in Sam’s welfare (for yes, his character is also called Sam) and wanted so much for everything to work out well for him.

The other actor involved throughout (albeit in voice-only mode) was Kevin Spacey, whose voice is perfectly suited to the calming tones of the computer programmed to monitor Sam’s health (mental, emotional and physical) and the systems and machines he needs to complete his work and to survive in his remote outpost on the moon. If there is ever a remake of 2001 Space Odyssey I hope they cast him as HAL – he’s superb onscreen but what he can convey with just his voice is wonderful.

This is a must-see film for fans of science fiction, space and psychological profiles, but also those who enjoy tight writing and acting at its very best.